Aren’t you sick of playing your own game and controlling your own outcome? Wouldn’t you rather have someone else play a video game and you can just watch instead? No, us neither. But for some reason, video game movies keep getting made. Here are just ten of them. And if we miss one you love — or hate — let us know!
1. Double Dragon: We ended up reviewing this movie twice, thanks to its incredibly MVD Rewind release that let us see it in a whole new light. Based on Technos’ 1987 arcade game Double Dragon (which is the spiritual successor to Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun, known to the US as Renegade), this film only uses its source material as a template to go crazy and became a Mad Max in LA neon fantasy world send-up.
2. Super Mario Brothers: My wife’s first Super Mario Brothers experience wasn’t the game. Instead, it was this movie, so she’s never understood why people think said Nintendo game is so much better than the film. When asked why he did the film by his son, Dennis Hopper replied, “So you can have shoes.” His son replied, “Dad, I don’t need shoes that badly.”
3. Mortal Kombat: You could argue that this movie is basically Enter the Dragon with more crazy special effects and magic, but that’s pretty much the game, too. Watching this movie is like mainlining the 1990’s right into your brain. You can do the same with its inferior sequel, where several of the main characters get killed off or worse, replaced by other actors.
4. Alone in the Dark: This is a game few of you may have played. That said, it is a movie that nearly all of you should avoid. Uwe Boll wasn’t done, though. He’d also make movies out of the games House of the Dead, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, BloodRayne, Postal and Far Cry. You should avoid all of those as well. Also, please don’t confuse it with Alone in the Dark, a superior slasher movie.
5. Street Fighter: If you ever wanted to see Raul Julia face off against Jean-Claude Van Damme, good news. This movie has you covered. Then again, Kylie Minogue makes a great Cammy. That’s probably all of the goods news I have for you, but full spoiler: I kinda love this big dumb movie.
6. Doom: Someday, I’m going to make an IMDB list of movies where The Rock plays a bad guy. It’s pretty short. I can count them on my fingers. But this is on that list. It’s also on my two movie list of movies where Karl Urban plays an awesome hero with giant guns, along with Dredd.
7. Rampage: Another video game movie. Another appearance by The Rock. That said, this one blows Doom away. It’s a big dumb monster movie that’s not afraid to be both big and dumb. They could make a hundred of these and I’d watch them all.
8. The Resident Evil series: I had to look up how many of these there are. The answer? Six. Six different times that Milla Jovovich battled the Umbrella Corporation. I know that I’ve seen at least two of them, but I can’t tell you a single thing other than Milla looked great in both.
9. Silent Hill: The original Silent Hill game was one of the most frightening I’ve ever played — I used to wear headphones so I could hear where enemies were coming from and it was so tense that it made me jump every time a monster got close. The film is one of the few decent video game adaptions.
10. Tomb Raider: Lara Croft has made it onto the big screen three times now: twice with Angelina Jolie in the lead and once with Alicia Vikander. She’s a character perfect for films — a female Indiana Jones that you can put in any manner of story.
That’s not every video game movie ever. We didn’t count films like Wreck-It Ralph and Pixels that used multiple video game characters. And didn’t get to movies like Prince of Persia, Wing Commander, Dead or Alive, Hitman, Max Payne, Tekken, Need for Speed, Warcraft or Assassin’s Creed.
That said — when you see that movies like Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu will be out soon, it just proves that this is a trend that isn’t going away.
As for video games adapting movies? That’s a whole other story.